White Man's Medicine: Government Doctors and the Navajo, 1863-1955
In 1863 the Dine began receiving medical care from the federal government during their confinement at Bosque Redondo. Over the next ninety years, a familiar litany of problems surfaced in periodic reports on Navajo health care: inadequate funding, understaffing, and the unrelenting spread of such communicable diseases as tuberculosis. In 1955 Congress transferred medical care from the Indian Bureau to the Public Health Service. The Dine accepted some aspects of Western medicine, but during the nineteenth century most government physicians actively worked to destroy age-old healing practices. Only in the 1930s did doctors begin to work with--rather than oppose--traditional healers. Medicine men associated illness with the supernatural and the disruption of nature's harmony. Indian service doctors familiar with Navajo culture eventually accepted traditional medicine as a valuable complement to their health care. Superior scholarship . . . especially rich in new material.--David Brugge, author of The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute.
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Missionaries and Politicians
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